DES MOINES – Governor Reynolds announced today that she has approved ending an agreement with Workday, an enterprise software company, to update the state’s financial management system to a cloud-based platform. After delaying the project last year for additional review, the Department of Management and Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) have determined the platform will not meet some of the state’s unique needs.
“This is not the outcome we wanted, but I’m confident in our team’s recommendation and greatly appreciate their diligence throughout this process," stated Governor Reynolds. “Despite the time, effort, and money invested, this decision is the responsible and prudent course of action to ensure the state has the right tools to support our operations, save money over the long term, and improve service to Iowans.”
In 2019, the state selected Workday to update its legacy systems for human capital management (HCM) and financial management with modernized, cloud-based systems.
After a successful implementation of Workday’s HCM platform in September 2021, the state began working to deploy Workday’s financial management system to replace its aging server-based systems that have been in operation for nearly 20 years, some of which are no longer supported.
Last summer, as the project was nearing the testing phase, potential implementation issues were identified that would impact a number of state business processes. At that time, the state decided to temporarily suspend implementation and conduct a thorough review of the issues and their potential solutions.
“It was extremely important to take the time to better understand whether the issues could be resolved without impacting data integrity or compromising the goals of the initiative,” said Matt Behrens, Chief Information Officer for the state. “Ultimately, the decision was made to reassess the platform.”
In response, the state began to evaluate options to upgrade its legacy financial systems with its current vendor, CGI. In 2019, when the state selected Workday, CGI did not yet have its cloud-based SaaS solution in production. Since then, multiple state and local governments have successfully implemented it and are now leveraging the benefits of a public sector solution. A preliminary review suggests this option is more compatible with the state’s requirements and current business operations and will result in less disruption to internal functions and lower ongoing costs over ten years.
The state has negotiated a contract with CGI to upgrade its legacy financial management platform to the new cloud-based solution. The project will begin April 1, 2023, and is estimated to be complete in March 2024.
Despite ending the Workday agreement to implement its financial management system, the state intends to remain with Workday’s HCM product. After successfully migrating several legacy mainframe and server systems for personnel-related business to the Workday HCM system in September 2021, the state has realized a number of operational efficiencies and will continue to manage its human resources processes through the Workday platform.
Workday HCM and CGI’s financial management product are able to exchange information seamlessly between the two systems to conduct state business operations.